This Week in Poker: April 17 – 23

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  • Namita Ghosh April 24, 2019
  • 7 Minutes Read

In the PokerGuru feature ‘This Week in Poker’ we bring you the weekly round-up of the biggest online scores by Indian MTT players along with the top stories from both the live and online poker circuit.

Here are this week’s top stories

April is on the edge of striding past, and May brings the poker community closer to the grandest of all poker festivals in the world – the World Series of Poker (WSOP). But even as we now step into the final week of the month, it’s time to look back at the developments that dominated the horizons of poker and gaming through the week that whizzed by.

In several ways, it was a roller coaster ride for the domestic poker community. Sri Lanka, a much-preferred destination for Indian poker players, was shaken by a series of suicide bombings across churches and hotels on Easter Sunday. Triggering a wave of alarm amidst the Indian poker community were unconfirmed reports that casualties included seven Indian players who were visiting the country to play poker. With the island nation declaring a state of emergency, and internet services in the country shut down, it became difficult for players back home to get any confirmation. Tensions settled somewhat after reports confirmed yesterday that the eight reported Indian casualties did not include poker players.

The Sri Lanka blasts did dampen the spirits in the poker community but fresh news of exciting live tournament action coming up ahead has helped lift the morale. Early this month the schedule for the Adda-52 powered Deltin Poker Tournament (DPT) Colossus Super High Roller (SHR) series was announced. The DPT Colossus SHR is fast closing in now – it is scheduled to hit Casino Deltin Royale in Goa on May 2 and will run three events till May 5. Adding to the anticipation is the announcement that the DPT Xpress is returning to Goa. The series makes its run from June 6-9 at the Deltin JAQK. While the dates are locked in, the schedule is expected shortly!

With the summer arriving full blast, the Indian sub-continent has been enveloped in an intense wave of heat. Juxtaposed with the rising temperatures outside was the heated action on the domestic virtual felts this past week. Flagging off the excitement for online players was the Vegas-special offer by fast-growing site MadOverPoker (MOP) – Vegas Series. The 15-tournament series featured a collective prize pool of ₹18.75 Lakhs and rolled out on April 15. The series closed out grandly after a four-day run. It was online reg Rajesh ‘sankibuddha’ Shukla hogging the limelight all the way from the start. Shukla was in stellar form and won four events in addition to posting four final table finishes. With 2,291 Leaderboard points, he topped the Vegas Series Leaderboard and won the WSOP Silver package worth ₹1.5 Lakhs! Sharing the headlines with him was ‘Dhruv ‘Ashwatthama’ Mondal who won the ₹1,600 Main Event ₹5 Lakhs GTD for ₹60,339.

If MOP’s Vegas Series set the mood for online players, hot on the heels came the flagship offer by premier poker site, PokerBaazi – PokerBaazi Premier League (PPL) Special Edition with ₹5+ Crores in prize money guarantees. With the PPL Special Edition, PokerBaazi promises much more than superb value for players. A portion of the rake collected in the 38-event series will be donated towards sponsoring the education and upkeep of 40 underprivileged girls. The grand poker extravaganza kicked off on April 21 and has enjoyed an action-packed run these past three days!

The biggest crowd puller was the series opener – The Endeavour (RE). The event has been a marquee tournament in previous PPL editions but, for the first time features a multi-day format with a whopping prize pool guarantee of ₹50 Lakhs. Two same-day flights played out on Sunday that registered a total field of 1299 entries (includes 549 re-entries). It completely tore the guarantee to smithereens, with the final pool reaching ₹64.95 Lakhs!

Alongside The Endeavour, three events crowned champions on Sunday and five more events culminated on the series’ second day. Nishant ‘nishant177’ Sharma had created quite a stir last WSOP when he trailblazed his way into the top 50 of the Main Event. Sharma was in the groove this Sunday as well and took home the biggest score of the day by winning the BSS SuperStack ₹25 Lakhs GTD for ₹7.84 Lakhs. Another day on the PPL Special Edition and Sharma retains the highest-earner tag but it’s was Gaurav ‘gaug17’ Sood who rose to take up the top position on the PPL Special Edition Leaderboard with 2,325 points. Sood won the PPL#9: The Bout 8-Max ₹25 Lakhs GTD for a whopping ₹5.61 Lakhs and went on to pocket an additional ₹1.60 Lakhs from his third-place finish in the PPL#10: 8-Max ₹15 Lakhs GTD. Sood’s dominating presence on the PPL Special Edition Leaderboard makes him our “PokerGuru Star of the Week.”

In Goa, a two-member committee has initiated an investigation in the illegal enrolment of casino employees in the Porvorim electoral roll controversy, while fantasy sports platform StarPick was seen pulling out as a member of the Indian sports gaming organization Indian Federation of Sports Gaming (IFSG). Zupee – a real-money quiz and trivia platform received a $1 Million (~ ₹7 Crores) investment from Smile Group.

Moving over to international developments, China has announced new guidelines prohibiting video games related to poker and Mahjong. In the meantime, the WPTDeepStacks has partnered with Europe’s biggest casino, King’s Resort and will be hosting the WPTDeepStacks Germany poker festival this July, in association with partypoker LIVE. We also heard Caesars Entertainment name Anthony Rodio as the successor of its outgoing CEO, Mark Frissora.

Headlining the action on the international felts was the Run It Up Reno VIII that culminated with Dan O’Brien taking down the $600 Main Event. O’Brien beat two-time RIU Main Event champion Loren Klein heads-up to win his career-first RIU Renu title and $46,681.

The biggest annual stop for the Asian Poker Tour (APT), the APT Philippines has kicked off today at Resorts World Manila and will continue till May 5. The series features an action-packed schedule of 23 events with over PHP22 Million (₹2.94 Crores) in guaranteed prizes. In addition to the Main Event and the Championships Event that offer a PHP10 Million (₹1.33 Crores) guarantee each, six High Rollers events form part of the APT Philippines roster for the first time.

Even as the partypoker Sochi Poker Festival Spring Edition (April 19-28) is currently underway, coming up next are the European Poker Series of Rozvadov (April 24- May 4), AJPC Asian Circuit Incheon (April 30- May 6) and PPL Partypoker Grand Prix Germany, Rozvadov (May 6-13).

We wrap up this week’s recap with tournament reports from the World Poker Tour (WPT) Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown, Borgata Spring Poker Open Championship, World Series of Poker Circuit (WSOPC) and Run It Up VIII.

 

Online Railbird Report

It was undoubtedly an action-packed week on the online felts. After the MadOverPoker (MOP) Vegas Series, coming up next was the PokerBaazi Premier League (PPL) Special Edition.

The PPL has always created a special niche for itself in the Indian online poker landscape, and this time the MTT-series features 38 tournaments on its roster.

The series made a strong opening on April 21 with the series opener – The Endeavour ₹50 Lakhs GTD (RE). This is the first time that The Endeavour, a staple attraction at PokerBaazi’s PPL Series saw its guarantee increased to ₹50 Lakhs, along with a unique multi-day format. The Endeavour has undoubtedly matched up to expectations! A packed field of 1299 entries including 549 re-entries over the two starting flights saw the guarantee being turned to smithereens, with the final pool touching ₹64.95 Lakhs.

Part of the PPL Special Edition roster was the BSS ₹25 Lakhs GTD, and it was Nishant ‘nishant177’ Sharma emerging the big Sunday winner by taking down the event for ₹7.84 Lakhs.

Day 2 of PPL Special Edition saw five events crown champions and headlining the list was Gaurav ‘gaug17’ Sood. The rising poker talent not only won the PPL#9: The Bout 8-Max ₹25 Lakhs GTD for ₹5.61 Lakhs, he has also finished third in the PPL#10: 8-Max ₹15 Lakhs GTD for ₹1.60 Lakhs.

Sood’s cumulative earnings in the two events equal ₹7.21 Lakhs, and he currently dominates the PPL Special Edition Leaderboard with 2,325 points, which makes him our “PokerGuru Star of the Week!”

Gaurav Sood
Gaurav Sood

Other notable scores of the week include –

Gaurav ‘gaug17’ Sood won ₹5.61 Lakhs for 1st place in the PokerBaazi ‘PPL #9: The Bout 8-Max ₹25 Lakhs GTD’

Rachit ‘hack_R27’ Parihar won ₹4.98 Lakhs for 1st place in the PokerStars’ ‘Sunday Special Progressive KO ₹25 Lakhs GTD’

‘coldplay12′ won ₹3.57 Lakhs for 1st place in the PokerBaazi ‘PPL#10: 8-Max ₹15 Lakhs GTD’

Anuj ‘brockLesnar95’ Yadav won ₹3.06 Lakhs for 1st place in the 9stacks ‘Sunday Stacks – ₹5,500 NLHE ₹15 Lakhs GTD’

Ankit ‘akj290’ Jajodia won ₹1.97 Lakhs for 1st place in the PokerBaazi ‘PPL#4: BSS Megastack ₹5 Lakh GTD’

Vaibhav ‘vane_shadow’ Temani won ₹1.96 Lakhs for 1st place in the PokerBaazi ‘PPL#2: BSS PLO ₹5 Lakhs GTD’

‘dybalamask’ won ₹1.20 Lakhs for 1st place in the PokerBaazi ‘PPL#7: 7-Max ₹5 Lakhs GTD’

‘BIT00Poker’ won ₹1.20 Lakhs for 1st place in the PokerBaazi ‘PPL#8: DST ₹5 Lakhs GTD’

Vikram ‘VikramKumar’ Kumar won ₹1.10 Lakhs for 1st place in the PokerBaazi ‘PPL#6 ₹5 Lakhs GTD (RE)’

‘Starlight777’ won ₹92,000 for 1st place in the Khelo 365 ‘Twister ₹2 Lakhs GTD Deepstack NLHE’

‘Madfoodie99’ won ₹50,000 for 1st place in the Khelo 365 ‘Big Bang ₹1 Lakh GTD Deepstack NLHE’

‘psrhvsdk’ won ₹38,944 for 1st place in the PokerStars India ‘Sunday Stars ₹2 Lakhs GTD’

PaddyJi won ₹38000 for 1st place in the PokerStars India ‘Sunday Storm ₹2 Lakhs GTD’

‘SuitedAces92’ won 37,500 for 1st place in the Khelo 365 ‘Big Splash ₹75,000 GTD NLHE’

santha261 won ₹35,626 for 1st place in the PokerStars’ India ‘The Classic ₹2 Lakhs GTD’

sneakysani won ₹26,943 for 1st place in the PokerStars’ India ‘Sunday Warm Up ₹1.5 Lakhs GTD’

Vishal DeadGrinder1 Madan won ₹ 24, 341 for 1st place in the PokerStars India ‘Sunday Supersonic ₹1 Lakh GTD’

mittalgang won ₹17,210 for 1st place in PokerBaazi ‘Sunday ₹1 Lakhs GTD’

Read the complete story here

 

MadOverPoker (MOP) Vegas Series

Fast growing online poker site MadOverPoker (MOP) has come out all guns blazing as far as doling out attractive offers is concerned. MOP’s latest offer, Viva Las Vegas offers multiple ways for players to win a free package to Las Vegas. The promotion’s headliner was the 15-tournament ‘Vegas Series’ that featured a total prize pool guarantee of ₹18.75 Lakhs with additional Leaderboard prizes and ran from April 15-18.

The series wrapped up grandly with Rajesh ‘sankibuddha’ Shukla and ‘Dhruv ‘Ashwatthama’ Mondal emerging the big winners. Shukla was the front runner from the inaugural day and landed up with four titles and four more final table finishes. Garnering a total of 2291 points, Shukla topped the Vegas Series Leaderboard and walked away with a free Vegas Package worth ₹1.5 Lakhs!

Rajesh Shukla
Rajesh Shukla

Read the complete story here

 

MOP Vegas Series Winners

Event NamePlayer NamePrize Money
₹50K GTD (6-Max RE) Sawan ‘Kahkelunga’ Kumar₹20,022
₹1 Lakh GTDMahipal ‘Zti3978’ Vala ₹21,526
₹1.75 Lakh GTD (RE)Rajesh “Sankibuddha” Shukla ₹41,125
₹30K GTD (PKO) ‘StarwarsAA’ ₹5,748
₹40K GTD (FO)Rajesh ‘sankibuddha’ Shukla₹7,580
₹1.25K GTD (RE) Rajesh ‘sankibuddha’ Shukla ₹25,377
₹2 Lakhs GTD Sachin ‘HellHole’ Raj ₹40,485
₹40K GTD (6-Max RE)Sachin ‘HellHole’ Ra₹10,367
₹40K GTD (RE)Amarjeet ‘ninjakar’ Singh ₹13,599
₹1 Lakh GTD (RE) ‘kingslayer’ ₹19,019
₹1.75 Lakh GTD (RE) Rajesh ‘sankibuddha’ Shukla ₹41,398
₹50K GTD PLO (RE)'silentkiller'₹12,217
Warm Up ₹1 Lakh GTD (RE)Harsh ‘harsh1327’ Bubna₹19,974
Main Event ₹5 Lakhs GTD (RE)Dhruv ‘Ashwatthama’ Mon₹60,339
Last Chance ₹1.5 Lakh GTD (RE) Vinay ‘Sir Ji’ Choudhry₹25,561

 

StarPick Leaves IFSG Membership After Launching Prediction Based Game

Last week, reports came about Fantasy sports platform StarPick pulling out as a member of Indian sports gaming organization Indian Federation of Sports Gaming (IFSG) after the site launched a prediction-based game – ‘Fantasy MatchUp’ which IFSG considered illegal.

StarPick & IFSG

Read the complete story here

 

Zupee Receives 7 Crores Investment

Real money quiz and trivia platform – Zupee, owned by Indipepper Media Private Limited received a $1 Million (~ ₹7 Crores) investment from Smile Group sometime last week. The company stated that the amount will be utilized for business development and expansion.

Zupee

Read the complete story here

Terror Blasts in Sri Lanka, 7 Indian Poker Players Feared Dead

Amidst Easter celebrations, Sri Lanka went through some of its toughest time in modern history as eight locations including three churches and three hotels became targets of suicide attacks leaving over 300 dead and more than 500 injured.

According to rumors, seven Indian poker players were staying in the Shangri-La hotel where one of the bomb blasts took place and were among those killed in the attacks.

Shangri La Hotel
A post-blast image of Shangri La Hotel

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2-Member Committee to Investigate Illegal Enrolment of Casino Employees in Porvorim Electoral Roll

According to recent developments, a two-member committee is investigating the conspiracy theory about illegal enrolment of casino employees into the Porvorim constituency electoral roll. The committee will clarify whether any government servant, politician or even a businessman was involved in getting the casino staffers enrolled.

Read the complete story here

China Bans Video Games of Poker & Mahjong to Prevent Illegal Gambling

China’s State Administration of Press and Publication announced on April 22 that video games related to poker and Mahjong will not be allowed as per new guidelines to curtail the spread of illegal gambling within the country.

Read the complete story here

Caesars Entertainment Appoints Anthony Rodio as New CEO

Caesars Entertainment Corp has announced Anthony Rodio as the successor for its outgoing CEO, Mark Frissora. Rodio is currently the CEO of gaming firm Affinity Gaming and will formally join Caesars within the next 30 days.

Anthony Rodio
Anthony Rodio

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WPN & ACR Act Against Bots

The Winning Poker Network (WPN) and Americas Cardroom (ACR) recently acted against bots, similar to partypoker. The sites created a $25,000 caveated reimbursement policy and assured the return of over $200,000 to the affected players. Suspected user ‘FoxRox’ was disabled and $175,728.80 re-distributed among 4,001 players while ‘Gluckauf’’s $25,134.60 were distributed among 1,057 players.

Winning Poker Network

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Charity Poker Tournament to Aid Deceased Pro Gavin Smith’s Family

In honor of the recently deceased Canadian poker legend Gavin Smith and to help his family, on May 28, a $200 buy-in tournament will be hosted at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino benefiting his children and the Gavin Smith Memorial Fund. One half of the money collected in the event will be contributed to the cause.

Charity Poker Tournament
Deceased Pro Gavin Smith with his kids

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WPTDeepStacks Joins Hands With King’s Resort in Germany

Last week, WPTDeepStacks announced its partnership with King’s Resort announcing the new WPTDeepStacks Germany series that will run from July 11-22 at the casino featuring over €1,000,000 in guarantees. The star attraction of the series will be the €1,500 Main Event boasting of a €500,000 guarantee.

WPTDeepStacks

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Run It Up Reno VIII

The much-anticipated poker fest organized by Jason Somerville in Peppermill Spa and Resort ran a full roster of 26 events from April 12 onwards. Headlining the action early was the series opener, the $440 Mini Main Event that ran alongside attractions like a Welcome Party and a Stand-up Open Mic Night.

After the Mini Main Event was taken down by John Boriolo, several events crowned champions. The $1,100 Thursday Thrilla was the biggest buy-in tournament of the series and culminated with Adin Cota taking it down for $20,400.

The excitement continued towards the end with the $600 buy-in Main Event attracting 689 runners over two starting flights. An intense fight developed on the felts as the final nine returned for a shot to the title. Las Vegas resident Dan O’Brien beat two-time RIU Main Event champion Loren Klein heads-up to win his career-first RIU Renu title and $46,681 in prize money.

 

Dan O Brien
Dan O Brien

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RIU Reno VIII Winners

Event NamePlayer NamePrize Money
$440 Mini Main EventJohn Boriolo$26,073
$125 Short Deck Hold ‘em $10K GTDSherman Mah$3,153
$125 NLHE/ Omaha 8 6-MaxSarah Sherman$2,000
$235 HORSE 6-Max Adam Owen$5,955
$125 NLHE Super Stack Super SonicPatrick Tardif$3,030
$235 NLHE Pro BountyJames Petzing$7,930
$125 NLHE Bomb PotJohn Lewis$2,440
$235 NLHE Black Chip BountyDonald McCormick$5,060
$125 NLHE –All In or FoldKyle Anderson$3,185
$235 8-Game Championship 6-MaxNicholas Kiley$5,220
$125 NLHE- Win the ButtonSteven Filipovic$4,125
$125 N.O.R.S.E 6-Max James Cappucci$2,219
$1,100 Thursday Thrilla Adin Cota $20,400
$600 Main EventDan O' Brien$46,681
$125 Triple Stud 6-MaxJoe Brindle$1,627
$125 2,3,4,5 MixPatrick Truong 42,215
$340 Short Deck Hold 'em ChampionshipAndy Pokrivnak$5,083
$125 Taiwanese Double Board 5-MaxJoe Brindle$2,460

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WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker (SHRP) Showdown

The WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker (SHRP) Showdown series featuring 33 events saw its biggest buy-in event conclude this past week at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino. The $25K High Roller crowned a worthy champion in 2-time WPT Main Event champion Aaron Mermelstein. The event saw a modest field of 99 entries, and Mermelstein walked away with the $618,955 prize money that came with it.

Aaron Mermelstein
Aaron Mermelstein

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David Jackson Wins Borgata Spring Poker Open Championship Main Event

David Jackson claimed his second Borgata Open trophy this past week when he took down the Borgata Spring Poker Open Championship $2,700 Main Event for his career-best score of $304,929.

David Jackson
David Jackson

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Maurice Hawkins Wins 12th WSOP Circuit Ring

Last week, American poker phenom Maurice Hawkins clinched his record-tying 12th World Series of Poker Circuit (WSOPC) gold ring after taking down the $600 NLHE event at Harrah’s Cherokee. The event recorded 391 entries to create $201,365 in prize money, and Hawkins banked $44,297 for his victory; he is now on par with Valentin Vornicu who also has 12 Circuit rings.

Maurice Hawkins
Maurice Hawkins

Read the complete story here

And with this, we conclude this week’s roundup of the latest news updates and developments from the world of poker. We will return again next week with our weekly report, stay tuned.

 

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